Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mississippian to assist Medley in 2010

David "Davo" Gilbert will join Manager Kyle Medley in the clubhouse as a first-year coach for the Bobcats. The two have a history together, both having played at Belhaven University in Gilbert's native Mississippi.

Gilbert will be only 26 when the 2011 season starts, but he already has a few years of coaching under his belt. He is in his second year as an assistant coach at Brookhaven Academy in Mississippi, coming off a state championship in 2010. Prior to that, he served as first base coach for two years at his colloge alma mater.

As a player, Gilbert has played for two independent league franchises—the Macon (Ga.) Music and Texas Heat in Dallas. He has also had three workout invitations from the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater, Fla. and Atlantic City, N.J.

With the Bobcats in 2011, he will serve primarily as a hitting coach.

Honors collected by Bobcats' 2011 coaching staff

Manager Kyle Medley
  • All 19th District, 2005
  • American Legion (Post 87) baseball Kentucky state champion, 2007 
  • Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Relief Pitcher of the Year, 2008
  • Fifth in NAIA Division I saves, 2008
  • KIT League All-Star for Marion Bobcats, 2008
  • Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Relief Pitcher of the Year, 2009
  • Fourth in NAIA Division I saves, 2009
  • NAIA All-American relief pitcher, 2009
  • All-time leader in Career saves at Belhaven College/University, 23
  • All-time leader in career and season saves for Marion Bobcats, 8
  • Second in single Season saves at Belhaven College/University, 13
Career statistics

Assistant Coach David Gilbert 
  • Two-time All-District (Lawrence County High School, Miss.), 2002, 2003
  • Two time All-Area (Lawrence County High School), 2002, 2003
  • Player of the Year (Lawrence County High School), 2003
  • Two-time Defensive Player of the Year (Lawrence County High School), 2002, 2003
  • Tied Mississippi fielding percentage record (1.000) (Lawrence County High School), 2002 
  • Two-time All-Conference (Belhaven University), 2006, 2007
  • All-Conference Gold Glove (Belhaven University), 2007 
  • All-Region Gold Glove (Belhaven University), 2007 
  • Rated a Top 12 shortstops of NAIA baseball (Belhaven University), 2007 
Belhaven career records and rank 
  • First in runs scored, 185
  • First in triples, 13
  • First in walks, 99
  • Second in hits, 231
  • Second in doubles, 56
  • Second in at-bats, 775 
  • Third in stolen bases, 66
Belhaven single-season record and rank
  • Second in triples, 7
  • Fourth in stolen bases, 25
  • Sixth in doubles, 20
  • Seventh in hits, 75

16 players commit to 2011 season

Under the Bobcats' Christmas tree this year will be 16 players who have committed to the team for the coming season. Though the first pitch of the 2011 season is still six months away, the roster is two-thirds complete. There are still many holes to fill, but Manager Kyle Medley said more players will be signed in the coming weeks.
The players who have committed represent nine schools in five states—Illinois, Tennessee, Kansas, Mississippi and Alabama. Thus far, no players from last season's Bobcats squad have committed to return.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Guess to head Ohio Valley League

Guess
Gordon Guess of Marion has been selected as president of the newly formed Ohio Valley Summer Collegiate Baseball League.

The league was formed by former members of the KIT League. Guess is also general manager of the Marion Bobcats which was formerly affiliated with the KIT League, but will begin competing in the new Ohio Valley League in 2011.

The Fulton Railroaders, Owensboro Oilers and Tradewater Pirates have also joined the new league. Guess said another team may eventually join the circuit. The Bobcats had participated in the KIT League for the first three years of the club's existence.

All four charter members will be represented in management of the league:
  • Gordon Guess, Marion.............................President
  • Charlie Pierce, Owensboro......................Vice president
  • Mike Smith, Fulton..................................Treasurer
  • Dwight Seymour, Tradewater..................Secretary

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Guess Field growing larger

The 36 home runs hit at Gordon Blue Guess Field this summer won't likely be touched in 2011, but outfielders will need to cover more acreage to prevent extra bases on long fly balls.

When the season starts in June, the fences at Guess Field will be as much as 50 feet deeper in places. Though Guess Field has never been noted as a launching pad, 25 of the Bobcats' 33 home runs in 2010 were hit at home, while the pitching staff gave up 11 more before hometown fans. Only 29 combined home runs had been hit at Guess Field in the Bobcats' first two years, however.

The team's general manager, the man for whom the field was named, said the change won't necessarily turn Guess Field into a black hole for offense, but it will favor whoever is on the mound.

"I like to call the field as becoming more 'pitcher friendly'," Guess said. "especially in left field."

Guess said that while home run totals may drop, the deeper fences will likely lead to more balls dropping in front of outfielders. New manager Kyle Medley will have to build his team around the new dimensions, which could change the complexion of the offense into a singles- and doubles-hitting club.

Currently, Guess Field measures 310 feet down the left field line, 290 in right, 350 in center and 340 in the power alleys. General Manager Guess said he does not know the exact dimensions of the altered field.

Regardless of the effect a deeper outfield will have on Marion's offense, fans will notice a new, larger scoreboard to tally the runs. A 16-foot by 6-foot scoreboard will be put up just over the right field fence to replace an old one about half that size. The new scoreboard will also feature an indicator light telling fans whether a ball put in play was scored a hit or error.

Work on expanding the field has already begun, with Crittenden County's road department moving dirt before Action Fence Co. of Salem replaces the outfield barrier. The City of Marion has also poured in $5,200 to help cover the costs of the change. The park board is overseeing the alterations.

Both the new fence and scoreboard were part of a package of changes promised when the Bobcats first took the field in 2008.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ohio Valley League born

It's now official. The Bobcats' finally have a name for their new league in 2011.

Marion, along with the Owensboro Oilers, Fulton Railroaders and Tradewater Pirates, will be playing in the Ohio Valley League next season. All four teams left the KIT League after the end of the 2010 season in order to form their own summer collegiate baseball league. The Ohio Valley League will play with essentially the same rules on the field as the teams had played under in the KIT League. Wooden bats will still be used and the bulk of the season will be played in June and July.

Three of the four teams had played in the KIT League, a throwback to the original Kitty League, since their establishment—Fulton in 2004, Owensboro in 2006 and Marion in 2008. Tradewater began play in 1999 as an independent semi-pro team, but joined the KIT League in 2007. Ironically, the only two teams remaining in the KIT League, a league whose name is an acronym derived from the states of Kentucky, Illinois and Tennessee, are from Missouri—the Farmington Browns and Sikeston Bulls.

While only four Kentucky teams comprise the Ohio Valley League at present, Bobcats General Manager Gordon Guess said talks with other communities might yield franchises from other states, such as Missouri or Tennessee. Guess, also a key participant in forming the new circuit, said other cities in Kentucky have also expressed an interest in eventually adding franchises to the league. Among them are Paducah and Mayfield.

The league's bylaws are still being drafted and its Web site, www.OhioValleyLeague.com, is still under construction, but Guess said the league is on firm footing.

The league's logo was designed by Brian Hunt, who also designed the Bobcats team logo.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bobcats tap new manager

Medley returns to Marion to head 2011 team

As the closer for the Bobcats in their inaugural season, Kyle Medley drove his former skipper to nervously gnaw is thumb to the quick. When the 2011 season starts for the Bobcats, Medley will be getting a taste of his own medicine, reversing those roles.

Earlier this week, General Manager Gordon Guess announced that Medley will be replacing Steve Fowler as manager and head coach of the Marion squad. The 23-year-old Kentucky native will follow the man who coached him in the Bobcats' debut season, 2008, and the only manager the team had known through its first three years. Fowler resigned his position in August after leading the Bobcats to the KIT League postseason and their best record since joining the league.

As part of legacy that was started under Fowler, Medley is happy to be headed back to Guess Field.

"The reason I want to coach for the Marion Bobcats is because I am familiar with their program and see the type of potential that community has to rally around their own baseball program," he said. "The community there was great when I played."

Next year will be Medley's first year of managing a summer collegiate league team, but not his first foray into coaching. In fact, the 2009 graduate of Belhaven College in Jackson, Miss., is currently serving as the fall baseball season coach at John Hardin High School in Elizabethtown, Ky. And he previously served as varsity pitching coach at his alma mater, Washington County High School in Springfield, Ky., overseeing the development of the team's throwers.

Guess excited about putting Medley back in the dugout as manager, despite being half the age that Fowler was when he began recruiting for the Bobcats in early 2008.

"He knows the ropes. He's been around," Guess said. "He'll bring a spark and rejuvenation we need."

In his only season on the mound for the Bobcats, Medley recorded two wins, a team-record eight saves and posted a 0.40 earned run average, the lowest of any pitcher in the KIT League to throw over 15 innings in 2008. In fact, he allowed only one earned run and struck out 35 in 22.2 innings.

As a player at Belhaven, Medley is the all-time leader in saves with 23 and ranked fifth and fourth in NAIA Division I saves in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Earlier this year, he signed a professional contract with the Shreveport-Bossier City (La.) Captains of the American Association.

But his unorthodoxed, side-arm delivery kept Fowler on needles and pins on the steps of the dugout three summers ago. Medley's 31 base runners allowed in just over 22 innings of work and a propensity to push batters to deep counts kept Fowler's thumb one big sore for the two months of the season.

However, that drama of the late innings with Medley on the hill is simply one of the team's highlights from its first three season, Guess said. It's time to move ahead, and he's found the right guy to replace Fowler, he added.

"He's smart. And Fowler likes him for the job."

Medley plans to be in Marion next week to visit with sponsors of the team and to make himself known around the community. Guess said his excitement for the team and love of America's pastime should be evident to those who speak with him.

"Not too many people get the chance to put on stirrups and a jersey and make a living at what they want to do in life," Medley said. "It's simply impossible to walk away from something that means so much to you."

Medley brings with him David Gilbert as an assistant coach. Gilbert, 25, was a teammate of Medley's at Belhaven and brings with him his own extensive baseball resume. He holds Belhaven's all-time records for runs, triples and walks, and is in the top three in four other statistical categories.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bobcats, others leave KIT League

New circuit will include Pirates, Railroaders, Oilers

When the season starts next spring for the Marion Bobcats, things will be a bit different both on and off the field.

Between the lines, a new manager will be calling the shots in the dugout after Steve Fowler's resignation two weeks ago. Fowler guided the team in its first three years to a 62-84 record. A replacement has yet to be named, but General Manager Gordon Guess said he is in negotiations with a former Bobcat player interested in managing the club.

Off the field, the Bobcats will be playing in a new league. In fact, four of the five KIT League teams from 2010 decided to part company with the 6-year-old summer collegiate baseball league, which has struggled with stability outside of the four Kentucky teams. In fact, the lone club in the 2010 season based outside of the Bluegrass State folded at mid-season and was run by the league office in Paducah, Ky.

Marion will join Tradewater, Fulton and Owensboro in the yet-to-be-named league.

"We are still discussing the league name," Guess said of the respective owners.

The Bobcats general manager said the clubs voted to leave the KIT League in order to play in a restructured circuit designed to better meet the concerns of team owners. The new collegiate league will keep the same on-field rules as the KIT League, such as the use of wooden bats. Players must also be college-eligible to play in the league.

One immediate advantage, according to Guess, will be the geographic concentration of the clubs. In the past, Marion and the three other Kentucky-based teams in the KIT League were forced to play opponents in far-flung places like Farmington, Mo., which was almost  200 miles from the nearest Kentucky franchise. In fact, the logistics were so difficult that the Farmington team played many of is "home" games in Mayfield, Ky.

"It was even too far away for them, as they used Mid-Continent University as a home base when they were playing Marion, Fulton and Tradewater," Guess said.

Guess said the league is in talks with parties from both Paducah and Mayfield interested in joining the new league.

"Sept  8 is a meeting of interested parties," Guess added. "Looks promising if we can overcome challenges such as playing fields, adequate seating, iring general managers and the like."

As for the league's name, Guess has turned to the local newspaper, The Crittenden Press, to help with labeling the circuit. On the newspaper's Web site, an online poll is asking voters which geographic moniker they would best like to be incorporated in the new league's name: Ohio Valley, KIT, West Kentucky or Mid South. To vote in the online poll, click here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fowler resigns as manager

The only manager the Marion Bobcats have known in the club's three-year existence has resigned.

Steve Fowler stepped down Wednesday as the field manager and coach, according to General Manager Gordon Guess. Guess said the split was amicable and would not rule out working with Fowler in some capacity in the future. In fact, the GM credited the 50-year-old skipper for making the team possible three years ago.

"We couldn't have done it without him," Guess said. "He had the connections and recruiting we needed. He's been great to work with."

In his three years, Fowler led the Bobcats to a 62-84 record. No replacement has been named, but the general manager said he has discussed the position with at least one candidate at this time.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Shaw falls just short in championship

The last of the Bobcat alumni has hung up his shoes for the summer.

Gabe Shaw, who earned a win in his only appearance with the Bobcats in 2010, helped take his Cape Cod Baseball League team to the championship, but the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox came up one game short in the playoffs. Shaw posted a 2.61 ERA in the postseason for the Red Sox, appearing in three games and earning a win. However, the Paducah native got no run support in his start in the final game of the championship series on Aug. 12 and took the loss after giving up four runs in 3.1 innings. The Red Sox dropped the game 6-0 to the Cotuit Kettlers and gave the Kettlers the championship.

In 10.1 innings for the Red Sox in the postseason, Shaw struck out 11.

Meantime, Marion's other alumnus in the prestigious league, Travis Jankowski, was part of a team that earned the league's top award for professionalism and integrity. On Aug. 8, the Bourne Braves and Jankowski were presented with the Commissioner's Cup for their actions both on and off the field during the season. Among other things, the Braves had no player or coach ejected from a game.

Jankowski helped the Braves to a division crown and the playoffs, but the Braves were ousted in the opening playoff series. Jankowski had two hits in their two losses.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Shaw still playing in Cape Cod League

Two Bobcat alumni from 2010 helped take their respective Cape Cod Baseball League teams to division titles earlier this month, but only one remains in action in the postseason.

Travis Jankowski batted .346 in eight games for the Bourne Braves, who finished with the Western Division crown behind a 24-20 record. Meantime, pitcher Gabe Shaw earned two wins and a save to help the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox to the Eastern Division title and best record in the league at 27-17. Each team took the top seed heading into the postseason division series, but only Shaw's team survived the first round by sweeping their opponent.

For Jankowski, who batted .484 in 40 games for the Bobcats in the KIT League, the season ended with a disappointing showing by the Braves in the playoffs. The Braves dropped the first game of the best-of-three series with the Wareham Gatemen 9-5 and fell short in 11 innings on Saturday in a 3-2 loss to hand the series to the Gatemen. Jankowski, a native of Lancaster, Pa. and an outfielder from Stony Brook University in New York, went 1-for-5 in each of the Braves' losses and scored one of the team's two runs in Saturday's loss.

Shaw, a native of Paducah, Ky., earned a complete-game win for the Bobcats in his only time on the mound for Marion. For the Red Sox, the University of Louisville right-hander took a 2.70 ERA into the postseason series with the Harwich Mariners and pitched a perfect inning Saturday to wrap up the divisional series with a 6-1 win. The Red Sox will next face on Monday the winner of the Orleans-Brewster series which concludes Sunday.

The Cape Cod Baseball League is America's top amateur baseball league and gives the brightest prospects a large stage on which to perform each summer. Some Major Leaguers who have played in the Cape Cod League include Thurmon Munson, Robin Ventura, Jeff Reardon, Nomar Garciaparra, Buck Showalter, Will Clark, Joe Magrane and Sean Casey.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Jankowski continues hot 2010 in New England

Travis Jankowski, Marion's offensive leader during the 2010 KIT League season, continues his hot hitting in the Cape Cod League, the nation's premiere amateur baseball league.

Jankowski, who ended the regular season with the Bobcats hitting .484 in 40 games to lead the league, is batting .368 in five games for the Bourne Braves. In 19 Cape Cod League at-bats, the lankly left-hander has seven hits, including one double, and three runs scored. With one walk, his on-base percentage is an even .400, and he has swiped two bases. While with the Bobcats, Jankowski stole 45 bases to lead the league by nine steals.

Jankowski signed with the Braves on July 28, missing the KIT League postseason but joining the Bourne club in time to push for a Western Division championship in the Cape Cod League. In fact, the Braves have moved from second place to to lead the division with only two games left in the regular season as of Monday. The league playoffs begin Friday.

A freshman at Stony Brook University in New York, Jankowski is a native of Lancaster, Pa.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pirates cruise to championship

For the second year in a row, the Tradewater Pirates walked away from the KIT League schedule with both a regular season and postseason championship.

The Pirates completed their trip through the 2010 playoffs on Saturday with a 3-1 win over Owensboro and a perfect 4-0 record, including two wins against Marion. In the regular season, Tradewater went 28-13 in KIT League play and had a 30-15 overall record that included games with the Tennessee Summer Collegiate Baseball Association.
Click here for box and line scores from Game 2 of the championship.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Pirates one win from championship

Tradewater moved just one win from completing a two-year domination of the league Friday, beating Owensboro 4-3 in the first game of the KIT League Championship Series. The best-of-three set travels to Tradewater's home at Riverside Park on Saturday and concludes there Sunday, if necessary.

Tradewater has won the regular season title the last three years, and will look to take the postseason title for the second straight year when the series returns to Dawson Springs. Only Owensboro, who won the postseason title in 2008, stands in the way of a complete Pirate sweep of league titles in the last three years.
Click here for box and line scores from Game 1 of the championship.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bobcats season ended by Pirates

The Bobcats' season came to a close Thursday with the team's eighth straight loss, falling to Tradewater 9-1 to give the Pirates the best-of-three series that punches their ticket for the postseason championship.

Pirate closer Adam Culiver ended Marion's best campaign since joining the league in 2008 by striking out the league's top power hitter, Ryan Chesler. The Bobcats ended the regular season with a 22-26 record and exited the playoffs without a win for the second time in as many years.

The Pirates, winners of the KIT League's regular season title for the third consecutive year, were too much for Marion in the postseason despite playing only .500 ball in their last 10 league games. In the first game of the postseason on Wednesday at Guess Field, Tradewater overcame a 2-0 deficit and broke up a no-hit bid by Austin Park in the seventh to move on to a 4-2 win. In tonight's game, the pitching staff shut down the league's most potent offense again, allowing a lone run in the fourth inning while the Pirate bats exploded for six runs in the fifth inning en route to an eight-run margin of victory.

For Marion, starter Justin O'Brien took the loss. Ryan Heinz was the winner for Tradewater.
Click here for box and line scores.

Owensboro 3, Fulton 2, 10 innings
The league's third-place team moved on to the championship series with an extra-inning win at Fulton, who finished the regular season in second place just one game behind Tradewater. The Oilers took the first two games of the best-of-three series for the right to face last year's postseason champ, Tradewater.

The championship series begins Friday at Chautauqua Park in Owensboro. Game 2 of the series will travel on Saturday to Riverside Park in Dawson Springs, also where the decisive game will be played Sunday, if necessary. The series will pit the winners of the last two postseason tournaments against one another. The Oilers won the title in 2008, beating the Pirates two games to none in the series.
Click here for box and line scores.

Bobcats' season on brink

The Bobcats will turn to Justin O'Brien Thursday to extend the 2010 season. The 6-5 right-hander will start Game 2 of the opening playoff series with Tradewater hoping to force a final game in the best-of-three series.

For Marion, it's win on the road or close out the season with eight straight losses, including two in the postseason. A win at Riverside Park on Thursday would keep the series there for the final game on Friday. The Bobcats were only 1-4 in Dawson Springs this year.

O'Brien was 2-2 in the regular season, but led the league in strikeouts and threw six innings of one-run ball in his last start, which was Marion's last win on July 21 against Owensboro.

Thursday's game begins at 7 p.m.

Elsewhere, Owensboro will be looking to punch their ticket for the championship with a win at Fulton on Thursday. The Oilers took Game 1 on Thursday by a score of 6-5.

Pirates double up Marion to start playoffs

Austin Park retired the first 13 batters he faced and maintained a no-hitter through six innings Thursday, but the Pirates were able to hold Marion scoreless after a two-run first inning and put up enough runs off Park in the seventh to win after a fielding error got the inning off to an ominous start.

With the 4-2 win, Tradewater took a 1-0 lead in the opening best-of-three playoff series and heads back to Riverside Park for the rest of the series. The Bobcats were only 1-4 in Dawson Springs this year, but must snap and seven-game skid and take both games on the road to advance to the championship series which begins on Saturday.

Park started the game for Marion by striking out the top of the Pirate order, and the offense rewarded the lefty by spotting him two runs in the bottom half of the first inning off a single followed by two doubles.

The lead-off hitter, Ryan Chesler, began the inning for the Bobcats with a single of Pirate starter Zach Bargeron and was moved to second on a textbook sacrifice bunt by Adam Boyd down the third base line. With two out after a Jae Leeworthy strikeout, Derek Trovillion drove Chesler home on a double dropped in behind first base. Trovillon was driven home on a subsequent Mike Perez double, but the Bobcats left the third run stranded at second to end the inning.

Park sat down the Pirate order the first time through, not allowing a single runner to reach. In fact, no Tradewater batter reached until one-out walk to Alex Reynolds in the fifth. Park issued another pass to Ryan Thomas to put runners on first and second, but was able to get out of the inning, stranding both.

Bargeron was also able to erase his own one-out threat in the bottom of the fifth after issuing back-to-back walks to Perez and Drew Williams.

Things began to unravel a bit for Park after right fielder Tony Perez dropped a ball to allow Tyler Duplantis on to lead off inning. The first hit of the night off Park followed on a high chopper over the mound off the bat of league RBI champ Justin Juneau, putting Duplantis in scoring position. The next hitter, Reynolds, lined a singled to score the runner from second just under the tag of catcher Williams. After advancing to third on the throw home by the right fielder, Juneau was able to score the tying run on the first out of the inning, a sacrifice fly to center field. With two out, Casey Cooper drove home the final run of inning for Tradewater on a liner under the glove of first baseman Mike Perez to give the Pirates a 3-2 lead.

Marion's No. 9 hitter, Jaron Shimmel, chased Bargeron from the game in the last of the seventh with a double. On in relief, Mirabella put Shimmel just 90 feet from tying the game with a wild pitch, but stranded him there by sitting down the top of the Bobcat order to get out of the inning.

The Pirates added some insurance in their half of the ninth when Reynolds started with a ground rule double off reliever Tomas Rodriguez in for Park in the eighth and scored on a passed ball after reaching third on weak dribbling out to first.

First-pitch swinging, Tony Perez got Marion's last frame off to a slow start on a chopper to short stop for the first out. But the Bobcats put the tying runs on in the ninth when Tony Gliffe, pinch hitting for Dylan Rasch who was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, reached on a walk and Chesler followed one out later with a single. Representing the winning run and the Bobcats' last chance, Adam Boyd went down swinging on a Mirabella 3-2 offering.

Mirabella earned the win in three innings of work, while Park took the loss.

Bobcats left on nine, one on in each of the first four innings.
Click here for box and line scores.

Owensboro 6, Fulton 5
The Oilers took advantage of opening their playoff series at home, besting second-place Fulton 6-5 to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series. The series heads to Fulton Thursday for the final two games, if necessary, of the set.
Click here for box and line scores.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

4 Bobcats earn offensive, pitching titles

2010 KIT League season leaders

Marion's Travis Jankowski dominated the league's offense in 2010, taking the top spot in three of the five key offensive categories. Jankowski earned the batting title by hitting .484, 116 points better than No. 2 Mike Bass of Fulton. He also finished the season with more hits (62) and stolen bases (45) than anyone.

The Bobcats also boasted the circuit's best power hitter in Ryan Chesler. Chesler belted eight home runs, one more than former Bobcat Mitch McClay and three more than fellow Bobcats Derek Trovillion and Jae Leeworthy, who ranked third in round-trippers. In fact, Marion led the league in home runs this year, smashing 33 to more than double the franchise's homers recorded prior to 2010. In the team's first two years — 2008 and 2009 — a combined 14 home runs were hit by the Bobcats.

Chesler also finished No. 2 in hits with 57 and No. 4 in batting average, hitting .343. The Bobcats also sent three more of the league's top 10 hitters to the plate in 2010. Leeworthy finished 6th batting .311, Adam Boyd batted .304 for No. 9 on the list and Mike Perez fell just short of .300 at .299 for No. 10.

On the mound, Austin Park, 5-2 on the year, boasted the lowest earned run average in the league at 2.21. He will start the first game of the postseason for Marion.

Also honored was pitcher Justin O'Brien who struck out 63 batters on the year, most in the league. O'Brien, who will start Game 2 of the playoff series with Tradewater, managed the strikeout lead in only 43 innings of work.

Tradewater players, who earned a regular season league crown last night, took the title in one offensive and three pitching categories, while Fulton, who finished second in the league, had two players share one pitching title. Owensboro and Farmington were shut out, having no leaders in any key statistical categories.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pirates win league, face Bobcats in playoffs

The 2010 KIT League season just didn't want to end.

On Tuesday, a playoff game between Fulton and Tradewater — required to break a tie atop the league standings after 40 games — needed 12 innings to determine a champion. In the bottom of the 12th, the Pirates walked off with a 6-5 win and their third consecutive regular season crown.

Tradewater started its scoring down 0-4, but ended the eighth with two runs to tie the game at 4-4. Neither team was able to score in regulation, but in the top of the 12th, former Bobcat Mitch McClay scored for Fulton on a high pop fly behind first base that Tradewater's Tyler Duplantis dropped for an error.

But Duplantis would redeem himself in the next half inning, leading off the Pirate 12th with a seeing-eye hit that sneaked through the infield. Duplantis would score to knot the game at 5-5 on a Justin Juneau hit off Fulton's Derek Roof. The Pirates won the game when Juneau came in to score on a bunt that the Railroader infield could not handle.

Tradewater ended the year with a 28-13 record, a game ahead of Fulton's 27-14 campaign. By taking the league crown, the Pirates will travel to Marion Wednesday for Game 1 of the best-of-three playoff series with the Bobcats.

The Pirates were 6-4 against Marion this year, but only 2-3 at Guess Field. The Bobcats also have the advantage of having had three full days of rest since their last game on Saturday while Tradewater has played each of the three days prior to Wednesday's contest.

But, one key Bobcat will be missing from the line-up Wednesday. Outfielder Travis Jankowski — leading the league in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, hits, steals and walks — left Marion on Tuesday to report to his new team, the Bourne Braves of the fabled Cape Cod League.

For Marion in the opening round of the playoffs, Austin Park (5-2, 2.21 ERA) will start Game 1 to kick off the series. In 36 2/3 innings of work this year, Park has allowed only nine earned runs and has struck out 32. Though he has started only three games, his five wins rank second in the league.

In Game 2 on Thursday, Manager Steve Fowler will send second-year Bobcat Justin O'Brien (2-2, 3.98) to the mound. O'Brien, like Park, has made appearances as both a starter and reliever, but has proved more effective as a starter. In his last start on July 21 against Owensboro, O'Brien pitched his best game as a Bobcat, giving up only one run and four hits in six innings. Thursday's game will be his sixth start of the year.

General Manager Gordon Guess said Kalip Merrill, just 1-2 but sporting a 2.39 ERA, has a sore arm and was not available to start during the series. Guess said Chris Goins (1-1, 6.87) could be the starter in the third game, if necessary.

Owensboro will host Fulton on Wednesday to start their postseason series.

Postseason schedule
First round
  • Wednesday: 1) Tradewater at 4) Marion, 7:05 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 2) Fulton at 3) Owensboro, 7 p.m.
  • Thursday: 4) Marion at 1) Tradewater, 7 p.m.
  • Thursday: 3) Owensboro at 2) Fulton, 7 p.m.
  • Friday, if necessary: 4) Marion at 1) Tradewater, 7 p.m.
  • Friday, if necessary: 3) Owensboro at 2) Fulton, 7 p.m.
Championship
  • Saturday: Higher seed at lower seed, 7 p.m.
  • Sunday: Lower seed at higher seed, 7 p.m.
  • Monday, if necessary: Lower seed at higher seed, 7 p.m.

Jankowski invited to Cape Cod League

When Marion begins the playoffs on Wednesday, they will be without their best player.

Travis Jankowski, who finished the KIT League season batting .485 to lead the league by more than 100 points, was invited Monday to join the Cape Cod League, the premiere amateur baseball league in the nation since 1885. The Lancaster, Pa. native will be playing for the Bourne Braves, replacing an outfielder who broke a wrist.

"I'm thrilled for the kid," Bobcats General Manager Gordon Guess said Monday evening. "It takes something to be invited up there."

That something was like nothing other seen in the KIT League this year. Besides getting a hit in nearly one of every two at-bats, Jankowski had an on-base percentage of .607. No other player in the league with more than 10 at-bats even reached .500 in that category. Additionally, in 40 games played, he reached on 62 hits and 35 walk, each more than anyone in the league, and was hit by eight pitches.

The only player to get on base more than 100 times, Jankowski made the most of his time on the bases, stealing a league-high 45 bags and scoring 42 runs, just four off the pace in that category. He added 28 RBI with 2 home runs and 14 doubles, while striking out only 10 times in 175 trips to the plate.

Guess said Jankowski, who approaches the game as a bit of a throwback with a quiet, business-like manor, was initially intent on finishing out the postseason with the Bobcats. After consulting with his father and baseball coaches from his high school playing days to now, though, the lanky left-handed hitter chose to head north for the rest of the summer.

"He's a pro in the making," Guess added. "No question."

Jankowski left  for Monument Beach, Mass., home of the Braves, Tuesdsay, just a day before Marion's first postseason game at Guess Field. Because a Fulton-Tradewater playoff on Tuesday became necessary to determine the regular season champion, Bobcat fans were robbed of seeing their most thrilling player one last time when the postseason schedule was moved back.

Guess said Jankowski's absence in the No. 3 hole and center field will certainly change the line-up for Marion in the postseason, but he's ecstatic about one of his players getting noticed by such a prestigious league.

"That's what we're here for," Guess said. "To get these guys noticed, and now he's moving on to bigger and better. I hope he does well."

Jankowski, in fact, will be Marion's second player on the 2010 roster to appear in the league. Gabe Shaw, a University of Louisville pitcher who won in his only appearance for the Bobcats, has a 4.50 earned run average and one save in three games for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. Shaw is a Paducah, Ky. native.

A bustling summertime retreat for the rich and famous, Cape Cod also draws lots of attention for aspiring baseball players. Scouts, media and as many as 2,000 fans at a game can feel like big-time baseball to most college players. The adjustment can be daunting for a KIT League player used to performing in front of only a few dozen fans, but the added exposure is what every player dreams of, Guess said.

Jankowski will have only six games with the Braves to showcase his baseball skills. However, he may get to extend the show, as the Braves are currently in second place in the Cape Cod League's western division, poised for the playoffs. 

Leaving the still, sweltering humidity of a western Kentucky summer for an Atlantic Coast breeze may be a welcome change for Jankowski, who will be based with his new team only 270 miles from his college home of Stony Brook University in New York.

While in Marion, Jankowski's boarded at the home of Wayne Garvey, pastor of Marion United Methodist Church.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Marion to host winner of Tuesday's playoff

The Bobcats will have to wait another day to find out their opponent in the first round of the KIT League playoffs, but regardless of the team, Marion will have the advantage of hosting the first game of the best-of-three series.

Marion, the No. 4 seed with a 16-24 record in league play, will face either Tradewater or Fulton, whomever wins Tuesday's playoff to determine the regular season league champion.

If results from previous meetings mean anything, Bobcat fans will be cheering for the Pirates on Tuesday. The Bobcats had losing records against both Tradewater (4-6) and Fulton (2-8), but had a winning 3-2 record at home against the Pirates and managed one win on the road at Riverside Park. Against Fulton, however, Marion was winless on the road and went only 2-4 at the friendly confines of Guess Field.

Owensboro, meantime, will begin its postseason Wednesday by hosting the loser of Tuesday's Fulton-Tradewater playoff.

Marion will play Game 2 and Game 3, if necessary, of the opening round postseason series on the road. Should the Bobcats advance, they will host the first game of the championship series on Saturday beginning at 7:05 p.m.

Postseason schedule
First round
  • Wednesday: Tradewater-Fulton winner at Marion, 7:05 p.m.
  • Wednesday: Tradewater-Fulton loser seed at Owensboro, 7 p.m.
  • Thursday: Marion at Tradewater-Fulton winner, 7 p.m.
  • Thursday: Owensboro at Tradewater-Fulton loser, 7 p.m.
  • Friday, if necessary: Marion at Tradewater-Fulton winner, 7 p.m.
  • Friday, if necessary: Owensboro at Tradewater-Fulton loser, 7 p.m.
Championship
  • Saturday: Higher seed at lower seed, 7 p.m.
  • Sunday: Lower seed at higher seed, 7 p.m.
  • Monday, if necessary: Lower seed at higher seed, 7 p.m.

1-game playoff to determine league champ

After a 40-game KIT League schedule, Tradewater and Fulton will have to play once more to determine a 2010 regular season champion and set the seeding for the postseason. The playoff will delay the start of the postseason until Wednesday.

On Monday, Fulton won 7-5 at Owensboro, ending the season with an identical 27-13 record as posted by Tradewater. The game became necessary when the Pirates dispatched the Railroaders Sunday at Riverside Park, taking a half-game lead over the Railroaders, who then needed to play Monday's make-up game in order to have a shot at catching the Pirates.

By winning at Owensboro, Fulton punched its card for a one-game showdown in Dawson Springs, the site determined by a coin toss. If Owensboro had won Monday, the playoffs would have begun Tuesday as originally scheduled, but they were pushed back a day to accomodate the Tradewater-Fulton playoff.

The winner of Tuesday's contest becomes the No. 1 seed and will travel to Marion Wednesday for the first game of a best-of-three series. The loser heads to Owensboro to face the Oilers in the first game of that series. The championship series now begins Saturday.

Tuesday's playoff Webcast can be heard at www.TradewaterPirates.com.
Click here for Monday's Fulton-Owensboro box and line scores.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

KIT season extended

With a 9-1 Tradewater victory over Fulton Sunday, the Pirates retook first place and extended the KIT League regular season. Fulton stands a half-game behind Tradewater for first place, but will now be forced to play Monday at Owensboro with the hope of pulling even with the Pirates at 27-13 each.

If Fulton loses Monday, Tradewater wins its third straight regular season crown and will play at Marion Tuesday in the first game of the KIT League postseason. Fulton would once gain play at Owensboro to start their best-of-three playoff series Tuesday.

The scenario gets a little more complicated if Fulton wins Monday, however. A Railroader victory would give both Fulton and Tradewater identical records in KIT League play and force a one-game playoff between the two teams to determine the league champion. A coin flip would determine the home team in the playoff. The postseason would also be delayed a day, with Marion waiting until Wednesday to host the winner of Tuesday's game. Owensboro would host the loser on Wednesday.
Click here for Sunday's Fulton-Tradewater box and line scores.

Marion drops 6th straight to end season

Marion lost its sixth consecutive game Saturday to end the season, dropping both ends of a double header to Fulton for the second night in a row. The losses also dropped the Bobcats to 22-26 on the season and 16-24 in KIT League action.

The outcome also allowed the Railroaders to overtake Tradewater for first place in the KIT League, leading to a head-to-head showdown Sunday that will determine the regular season champion.

In the first game, Fulton edged Marion 8-7, the third straight 1-run loss for the Bobcats. The Railroaders jumped to an early 2-0 lead after the first inning. The Bobcats came back and put up one score in the second.

Former Bobcat Mitch McClay extended Fulton's lead in the bottom of the third with a two-out, 2-RBI home run. The Railroaders marked up two more in the fourth to make the score 6-1. In the top of the fifth the Bobcats closed the gap with a 3-RBI home run off the bat of Jae Leeworthy, his fifth of the season. In the bottom half of the fifth, however, McClay led off with a double and scored off an Eric Mason RBI single.

Trailing 7-4, the Bobcats fought back in the sixth putting up two more runs and cutting Fulton's lead to one. In the next inning, Marion tied the game with a RBI-double by Ryan Chesler scoring Tony Perez who'd reach with a lead-off single. In the bottom half, McClay again got aboard with a walk and finally scored off game-winning RBI single by Eric Mason.

The Bobcats outhit Fulton 14 to 10, with Ryan Chesler and Derek Trovillion tallying three each. Travis Jankowski went 2-for-2 and Adam Boyd and Leeworthy each added two hits. Leeworthy had three RBI on the night, with Chesler and Trovillion contributing two each.

Both starters on the mound, Derek Roof for Fulton and Curran McNeely for Marion, get no decision. Paul Mittura threw one inning in relief for Fulton. Ben Johnson pitched the final inning for the Railroaders and gets the win. Kyle Bugg takes the loss going 2 2/3 innings for the Bobcats.

Fulton completed the sweep of a four-game series with a 13-4 win over the Bobcats in Game 2 of Saturday's double header.

The Bobcats managed an initial 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, scoring off the only Railroader error on the evening. But in the bottom of the first, Marion starter Michael Backes failed to find the plate as he walked the first five batters in a row and gave up five earned runs without a single Railroaders hit.

In all, six runs were scored by Fulton in the inning, with Tyler Smith relieving Backes with no outs on the board. The Railroaders continued scoring with one run each in the next two innings, and four more in the fourth. Fulton added a final run in the sixth.

The Bobcats managed to pickup thre more runs in the top of seventh off five hits given up by reliever and former Bobcat Josh Reynolds who threw the final two innings for Fulton.

Both the Bobcats and Railroaders got six hits in the game, and of 25 batters sent to the plate for Fulton 14 were walked by three of the four Bobcat pitchers. For Marion, Jaron Shimmel picked up two RBI and Mike Perez one. No one had more than one hit for Marion.

Starter Jacob Donze gets the win for Fulton with no earned runs. Micheal Backes accepts the loss for Marion, his fourth.

Marion's Jankowski was 2-for-5 on the night to finish the season batting .484, 112 points higher than the No. 2 hitter in the league, Fulton's Mike Bass. The pair also finished 1 and 2 on the season in stolen bases, with Jankowski nabbing 35 and Bass stealing 34.
Click here for Game 1 box and line scores.
Click here for Game 2 box and line scores.

Farmington 6, Owensboro 1
Farmington 6, Owensboro 0
Farmington swept a double header against Owensboro Saturday in the final day of regular season baseball for both teams. The game was in consequential in the standings, however, as the Oilers had already cemented third place and Farmington had been eliminated from the postseason several days ago.
Click here for Game 1 box and line scores.
Click here for Game 2 box and line scores.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fulton derails Bobcats

Fulton edged Marion in both ends of Friday double header to pull within a half-game of idle Tradewater and keeping their hopes alive for winning the league's regular season title.

In the top sixth inning of Game 1, an error at third by Marion's Jeremy Turpin let two runs to score, allowing Fulton to retake the lead 6-5. Former Bobcat Josh Reynolds held Marion scoreless in the bottom of the frame, and Railroaders closer Benjamin Johnson pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning to close the door on a 6-5 Fulton win and earn his fifth save.

In the nightcap, Fulton pitchers held Marion scoreless for only the second time this year. The 1-0 Fulton win gave the Railroaders the sweep in the final regular season game at Guess Field and dropped the Bobcats to 22-24.
Click here for Game 1 box and line scores.
Click here for Game 2 box and line scores.

Owensboro 2, Farmington 1
Despite handing Farmington its 30th loss of the year in a tight 2-1 game, Owensboro ended the night knowing they would finish in third place courtesy of Fulton's sweep at Marion.
Click here for box and line scores.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Child support office sponsoring final game

Crittenden County Attorney Rebecca Johnson's child support office will be sponsoring give-aways for children and the family at Friday's Bobcats double header, the last regular season home date at Guess Field.

Free snow cones for everyone and free backpacks filled with school supplies to the first 50 children to sign in will be given away at Children First Family Fun Night. The Bobcats will face Fulton for two on the night.

While the Bobcats have little hope of finishing in higher than fourth place, Friday's games with the Railroaders, as well as two more at Fulton on Saturday, will help determine the final league standings. At game time Friday, Fulton is 1.5 games in back of first-place Tradewater, who has only one more league game — against Fulton on Sunday.

Free tickets to the 5:05 p.m., double header can be picked up at the child support office at 217 W. Bellville St., in Marion. The office is open weekdays from 8 a.m., to 4:30 p.m. Call 965-5476 for further information.

Crittenden County Chamber of Commerce is co-sponsoring the night. All fans will receive a free team photo courtesy of the Chamber and the Bobcats.

Also on Friday, Owensboro will try to wrap up third place with a win against Farmington at Chautauqua Park.

Bobcats fall three behind Oilers

Owensboro beat Marion by a field goal in a game Thursday whose numbers on the scoreboard appeared more like a football final. And with the Oilers' 16-13 win over the Bobcats, they extended their third-place lead to three full games with only three contests left on their KIT League schedule. With a 16-20 league record, the Bobcats will finish in fourth place with one more loss in their remaining four contests or with an Oilers win in one of their remaining games.

Paul Geuy pitched a complete game to earn his second win of the season for the Oilers despite throwing more than 200 pitches and giving up all 13 Marion runs. Chris Goins (1-1) took the loss for Marion, giving up 11 runs in 3 2/3 innings. Tomas Rodriguez pitched the remaining 5 1/3 innings for the Bobcats.

For Marion, Ryan Chesler hit his league-leading seventh home run of the season, a two-run shot to right center in the fourth inning, and scored three runs. Adam Boyd scored three runs and stole as many bases. Derek Trovillion had 2 RBI, as did Tony Perez and Jae Leeworthy. Geuy held Travis Jankowski, batting .504 before the game, hitless. He did, however, steal two bases to run his season total to 44, 14 more than his closest competitor, Fulton's Mike Bass.
Click here for box and line scores.

Tradewater 6, Farmington 5
Tradewater 7, Farmington 0
Tradewater rebounded from a late-season stumble and won both ends of a double header with Farmington to push their KIT League record to 26-13, extending their first-place lead over Fulton 1.5 games. Tradewater has only one remaining league game, and that is on the final day of the season against the Railroaders. However, Fulton has five games remaining, including four with Marion and the final contest with the Pirates on Sunday.
Click here for Game 1 box and line scores.
Click here for Game 2 box and line scores.

Marion sees last of Oilers

The Bobcats will face Owensboro for the final time in the 2010 regular season with Thursday's game at Guess Field. Should Marion win, the Bobcats will be one game in back of the Oilers for third place in the KIT League. The Bobcats are 3-6 against the Oilers this season, 2-2 at home.

Meantime, Fulton will once again have the night off. The Railroaders will be hoping for a pair of Tradewater losses at a Riverside Park double header with Farmington in order to take over first place from the faltering Pirates.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Split keeps Bobcats in fourth

A split of a rain-delayed double header with Owensboro Wednesday kept the Bobcats two games behind the Oilers and in fourth-place as the season nears its end.

In the first game, Marion's Justin O'Brien (2-2) cruised to a 7-3 win in his best start of the year, pitching six innings and giving up only one run on four hits. At the plate, Ryan Chesler and Jae Leeworthy each had an RBI while Travis Jankowski and Jaron Shimmel scored two runs apiece. Jankowski, leading the league in hitting, had two doubles in three at-bats. Outfielder Adam Boyd also had two hits.

In Game 2, the Oilers returned the favor, winning 14-10 in a game that saw a combined 27 walks issued in only seven innings. Owensboro had a 6-run third inning in which three different Marion pitchers contributed to a total of seven walks, one hit batter and two wild pitches. The Oilers added a 5-run sixth, which helped them stave off a late Bobcat charge in which four runs were scored on four walks and three hits in Marion's last at-bat. Sean Fitzgerald, Marion's starter, was given his first loss of the year against two wins.

Mike Perez had a home run and two RBI, while his brother Tony scored two runs. Jankowski went 1-for-2 with three walks and an RBI and Jeremy Turpin had an RBI double. Chesler, Boyd and Leeworthy also added an RBI each. Jaron Shimmel scored two runs after reaching three times in four plate appearances. Drew Williams, Boyd, Leeworthy and Turpin each scored a run, as well.

On the night, Jankowski had four steals to extend his league lead over Fulton's Mike Bass. In each game, the Bobcat center fielder once again stole second and third in an inning.

Had Marion been able to sweep the double header for their sixth consecutive win, the Bobcats would have ended the night in third place, percentage points ahead of Owensboro.
Click here for Game 1 box and line scores.
Click here for Game 2 box and line scores.

Farmington 12, Tradewater 5
Tradewater continued its stumble toward the finish line, dropping Wednesday's game to Farmington. The 12-5 Farmington win allowed and idle Fulton to pull within a half-game of the Pirates with four days left in the regular season.
Click here for box and line scores.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bobcats to host July 27 playoff game

With Fulton's 6-1 win in a double header Tuesday with Owensboro, Marion was assured of no better than a third-place finish in the KIT League standings. That means the Bobcats will be the lower seed in the first round of the playoffs, giving home-field advantage to the higher seed.

However, the Bobcats will start the best-of-three series at home next Tuesday, beginning at 7:05 p.m. Games 2 and 3 of the series, if necessary, will be played on the road. Marion's opponent has yet to be determined, as seeding will be based upon the final league standings.

The Bobcats can pull ahead of Owensboro for third place by percentage points with a sweep of Wednesday's double header at Guess Field, which begins at 5:05 p.m. The final regular season meeting between the two teams will be played Thursday, also at Guess Field. That game will begin at 7:05 p.m.

Also on the league schedule for Wednesday, Farmington heads to Tradewater for two. Fulton is idle and will remain so until Friday's double header with Marion at Guess Field.

Grand Old Party Thursday at Guess Field

Bobcat fans are invited to a Grand Old Party Thursday at Guess Field.

Crittenden County's Republican Party Committee will be sponsoring Thursday's game against Owensboro. The party is offering a free hot dog meal, as well as chance to meet the slate of GOP candidates for this fall's election, beginning at 6 p.m.

The game begins at 7:05 p.m.

Oilers, Railroaders trade scores

Fulton split a double header at Owensboro Tuesday, securing no less than a third-place finish for the Railroaders and eliminating Marion from finishing in higher than third place. In the first game, Fulton beat the Oilers 6-1, but Owensboro came back in the nightcap to reverse the result and score at 6-1 in their favor.

With just five games remaining, Fulton holds a commanding 4.5-game lead over Owensboro for second place. Owensboro still has an outside shot with six games remaining, but must hope for no more than two Fulton wins or two losses of their own.

Tradewater, Marion and Farmington were idle Tuesday.
Click here for Game 1 box and line scores.
Click here for Game 2 box and line scores.

Fulton can clinch second place

In the second and third games of their three-game series, Fulton will face Owensboro Tuesday for a double header with a chance to clinch no worse than third place in the KIT League. Fulton is one game behind Tradewater.

Though a Fulton win in either game would dash any hopes Marion has for finishing better than third, it could help the Bobcats' chances of overtaking Owensboro for third place. Currently, the Oilers are only two games in front of the Bobcats. The Oilers still have an outside shot at second, but a loss on Tuesday would all but eliminate their chances.

The next Fulton win or Bobcat loss locks Marion into a third or fourth place finish at best, meaning Guess Field would host the first game only of a three-game, first-round playoff series beginning next Tuesday.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bobcats secure postseason berth

With a pair of wins Monday against last-place Farmington, the Bobcats clinched an appearance in the KIT League playoffs that begin next week. An 8-3 victory for Marion in the first game of the daytime double header and an 8-1 win in second, also ended the Browns' hopes for the postseason.

In addition to extending the season, the sweep of the double header gave the Bobcats their first four-game winning streak of the year and put them a game above .500 (21-20) in the overall standings and 15-18 against KIT League teams. Marion had won three consecutive games twice, both coming in July when the Bobcats have posted a 11-7 record through Monday. No other team has won as many games in July.

In Game 1 Monday, Austin Park (5-2) earned the win in his third start of the year, with Caleb Luttrell closing out the game on the hill for the Bobcats. Ryan Chesler and Jae Leeworthy homered for their sixth and fourth home runs of the year, respectively. Adam Boyd was ejected from the game after arguing his case for a would-be home run off his bat that was called foul by the home plate umpire. General Manager Gordon Guess said Boyd's ball appeared to land in fair territory by a wide margin.

In the finale of the double header, Curran McNeely (1-3) finally registered his first win in five starts, pitching five innings. Kalip Merrill, sporting one of the lowest earned run averages in the league, pitched the final two innings.

Both Merrill and Luttrell were in familiar surroundings Monday, as the games were played in Mayfield at Mid-Continent University's field, the same field where the two pitchers climb the mound as pitchers for the university's baseball team.

Travis Jankowski had five steals on the day to run his league leading total to 40 stolen bases.

Marion finished its season series with Farmington at 7-3.

While Bobcats finish the regular season on Saturday, they will start a best-of-three postseason series beginning July 27. Who they will be facing remains uncertain, though, as playoff seeding has not been finalized.
Click here for Game 1 box and line scores.
Click here for Game 2 box and line scores.

Fulton 8, Owensboro 4
With an 8-4 win Monday, second-place Fulton pulled to just one game behind Tradewater and moved Owensboro back to 5.5 games out, just two games ahead of Marion in third placed. The game was called due to rain in the top of the eighth. The Railroader broke out of the tie in the seventh with a lead-off solo home run by Brett Teschner and added three more with a Mike Bass three-run homer.
Click here for box and line scores.

Wilson County 6, Tradewater 5, Game 1

Tradewater 3, Nashville 2, Game 2

In an interleageue double header that would not affect the KIT League standings, Tradewater split a double header against two Tennessee Summer Collegiate Baseball Association foes. In the first game, Wilson got the best of the Piratates 6-5. In the nightcap, the Pirates bounced back to 3-2 win over Nashville. At 26-14 overall, Tradewater has just five more wins than Marion on the season.
Click here for Game 1 box and line scores.
Click here for Game 2 box and line scores.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fulton pulls closer to Pirates

Fulton picked up a game on Tradewater Sunday with a 3-1 win at Riverside Park. The Railroaders took two of three in the series and now rest only 1.5 games off the pace.

Both teams scored one run each in the second inning. Fulton took a 2-1 lead in the fifth when Dakota Piver hit a solo home run over the 350 mark in right field. Fulton added a third run in the top of the eighth when Joe Pudlo hit a RBI single driving in Mike Bass.

Starter Jacob Donze takes the win for Fulton going eight innings, and Ben Johnson picks up a save pitching the ninth.  The loss goes to starter Cody Crabaugh, his first of the season.

Fulton is 20-11 in KIT League play with eight games left against league opponents, including one with Tradewater and four with Marion. Tradewater is 24-12 in the circuit with only four KIT League games left, putting their magic number at 6 to clinch first place.

The Railroaders, however, control their own destiny. Even if the Pirates win their last four league contests, they are not guaranteed a first-place finish. Fulton would have to lose at least two of its remaining eight games to ensure the Pirates a regular season crown.

Owensboro also has an outside chance at first place, but must win all of its remaining nine games and hope for the Pirates to win no more than one of their remaining four games.

For Marion, a first-place finish is out of reach, but the Bobcats can still hope for a second-place finish. However, they must also win outright and hope for no more than one Fulton victory. To achieve third place, Marion is only 3.5 games behind Owensboro with three head-to-head match-ups with the Oilers remaining.
Click here for box and line scores.

Bobcats can clinch postseason appearance

Marion will visit last-place Farmington for two games Monday with a chance to clinch the league's last playoff spot. If the fourth-place Bobcats (13-18 in KIT League games, 19-20 overall) win both games of the double header, they are in the postseason and the Browns (7-25, 9-25) are out.

Fulton rainout moved to Marion

Friday's game at Fulton was rained out and will be made up as part of a double header at Marion on July 23, the Bobcats' last regular season home game of the year. County Attorney Rebecca Johnson and the Crittenden County Chamber of Commerce will be sponsoring the night, with give-aways and information.

Marion will play one of the games at Guess Field as the visiting team, batting at the top of the inning. The first game begins at 5:05 p.m. with the second to follow about 20 minutes after its completion.

Bobcats sweep double header

It may not have meant anything in the KIT League standings, but Marion's sweep of an interleague double header Saturday may have meant the world heading into the final week of the regular season.

By beating Middle Tennessee 5-3 in the first game and 9-8 in the nightcap, the Bobcats ended a four-game skid that had slowed their momentum toward the playoffs. And at 19-20 overall at the end of the night, taking the twin bill also brought Marion back to within one game of achieving manager Steve Fowler's preseason pledge to not have a losing season.

In the first game, it was a pair of home runs that lifted Marion over the visiting Cougars in extra innings. In the second game, the story was sparkling defense — the Bobcats had it, the Cougars did not.

Game 1
After being denied the opportunity to score the winning at home plate in extra innings, Adam Boyd took things into his own hands two innings later, hitting a walk-off home run to beat Middle Tennessee 5-3.

The bullpen also showed its newfound strength after the all-star break with Justin Stout (2-3, 5.85) pitching six scoreless innings in relief of starter Tomas Rodriguez for a win. Rodriguez also threw well, giving up three runs on five hits through five innings.

The Cougars struck first in the game off Rodriguez, putting all three of their runs on the board in the first two innings. But in the bottom of the second, the Bobcats bit back with a run of their own. Jae Leeworthy led off with a double and scored when Middle Tennessee's left and center fielders collided trying to make a play on a Drew Williams double.

Williams tied the game 3-3 off McMurtry in the sixth with a two-run home. Jeremy Turpin, batting just .141 prior to Saturday's game, followed Williams with a double but was left stranded by pinch hitter Mike Perez with two out to keep the score knotted.

The seventh, the final inning of double header action, saw good opportunities for each team to walk away with a win in the first game, but both came up short.

To start the seventh, the Cougars reached on a single off Stout, but the threat was quickly erased when a pinch-runner got picked off first by Williams after a pitch. Williams also ended the inning by throwing out a runner at second on an attempted steal.

Marion's chance to win the game in the bottom of the frame came with Travis Jankowski on third with one out after he coaxed a walk from Middle Tennessee reliever Jesse Snodgrass and stole two bases, one by beating out rundown on a pick-off attempt. Jankowski was stranded at third, however, after Ryan Chesler hit a short fly just behind third base that could not get even Jankowski home. Leeworthy then struck out to end the inning.

In the eighth, both teams failed to score again. Marion squandered a lead-off runner, with Derek Trovillion reaching on an error at first base. A sacrifice bunt by Williams put the runner at second, but he could advance no further after Turpin struck out and Jaron Shimmel flied to left.

An inning later, Marion came within inches of ending the game with a play at the plate. To set up the play, Boyd reached on a one-out single and moved ahead on defensive indifference. With one out and Boyd on second, the best hitter in the league in Jankowski stepped in. After two bunt attempts, he struck out looking, bringing Chesler to the plate. Chesler was able to get a hit through to shallow center with Boyd headed for home, but the throw from center was on target and Boyd lept over and around catcher Jeff Smith to avoid the initial tag. In a race back to the plate, Boyd dove just short of the tag and was called out by home plate umpire Curt Dragoo.

The Cougars threatened in the 10th, but Stout got out of the inning unscathed. No one reached in the Marion half of the inning.

The game entered the bottom of the 11th still tied 3-3 after an inning-ending double play erased a Middle Tennessee threat in the top of the inning. In the bottom half, Boyd then got a shot at redemption after being denied a score in the ninth. With Turpin on second having reached on a throwing error by Cougar third baseman Taylor Stewart, Boyd took a Snodgrass offering and put it onto Red Benton Drive over the right field fence for the walk-off 5-3 win.

Boyd and Williams each had three hits in the game, and Boyd added to steals. Leeworthy had two hits and scored two runs. Jankowski had three steals to put his league-leading total to 33.
Click here for box and line scores.

Game 2
As in the first game, the Cougars put the first run on the board in their initial at-bat, but Marion quickly took a 3-1 lead from Middle Tennessee starter Tim Bowles without the benefit of a hit.

In bottom of the first, Bowles walked the top of Bobcat order and tied the game at 1-1 with a balk called on his delivery to Perez. Perez then hit a deep fly to left that scored Boyd from third and moved  Jankowski to within 90 feet of home. Jankowski then scored the final run of the inning on a wild throw from third baseman Cougar Jeff Smith that flew 20 feet over the head of the first baseman with Leeworthy running down the line.

Tyler Smith (1-0, 8.77), who struggled with his control in the first, allowed four more runs in the second to give the Cougars a 5-3 lead. In the inning, Smith walked two, hit a batter and gave up three hits. Marion would get one run back in the bottom half on another throw from the left side of the infield that sailed over first baseman Ben Hendrix's head. This time it was an errant throw from shortstop Brent Goode that allowed Tony Perez to reach home from second. That was all the Bobcats would get and the inning ended with Marion trailing 5-4.

Smith continued with control problems in the third, allowing a runner on third to score with two out on a wild pitch to extend the Cougar lead to 6-4. Tyler was pulled in favor of Kyle Bugg after walking the next batter, his sixth in only 2 2/3 innings. Bugg finished the frame by striking out the first hitter he faced.

Bugg struggled with his control on the night, too. He loaded the bases to start the fourth and allowed two runs on sacrifice flies to double up Marion 8-4.

Boyd hit his second home run of the double header in the bottom of the fourth, though it did not come without controversy. Boyd's ball took a high bounce after landing and Middle Tennessee argued the ball landed in the field of play and bounced over the fence for a ground rule double. However, umpire David Young ruled the ball landed over the fence in left center and signaled for Boyd to round the bases, making the score 8-5.

Tony Gliffe tied the game at 8-8 off Bowles in the fifth rocketing a two-run homer over the fence in left center that brought home Trovillion after a run-scoring double of his own.

From that point on, Marion's defense shut out the Cougars. Not to be outdone by sparkling outfield catches by Jankowski and Boyd earlier in the game, Shimmel in the top of the sixth made a high, leaping dive on a sharply hit ball to second and was able to get the runner out to end the inning and keep the game tied and give Marion the chance to win in their next at-bat.

The Bobcats took advantage of the unorthodoxed side-arm delivery of reliever Kent Voorhis and an error in the sixth for the 9-8 win. Jankowski, who reached after being hit by a pitch, scored the winning run from third on an error by the Cougars shortstop after stealing second and third for the second time on the night.

Bugg (3-2, 3.18) closed out the seventh for the win.

With five stolen bases on the night, Jankowski now leads the league in hitting, .485, and steals, 35.
Click here for box and line scores.

Tradewater 3, Fulton 2
Fulton 10, Tradewater 0
Fulton outscored Tradewater 12-3 on the night, but managed only a split in their twi-night double header. In the first game, the Pirates nipped Fulton 3-2, but in the nightcap, the Railroaders shut out Tradewater 10-0, holding the Pirates scoreless for the first time this year. By splitting, the Railroaders remain 2.5 games behind Tradewater for first place in the league.
Click here for Game 1 box and line scores.
Click here for Game 2 box and line scores.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Oilers down Pirates 7-3

Owensboro got the best of Tradewater in their final meeting of the year, beating the Pirates 7-3 and pulling to within 5.5 games of the Pirates' league lead. The game also helped an idle Marion pick up a half-game on Tradewater, but lose a half-game on third-place Owensboro. The Bobcats rest in a solid fourth place for a playoff appearance, 3.5 games behind the Oilers.

Marion's game at Fulton was rained out.
Click here for box and line scores.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bobcats look to end skid at Fulton

The Bobcats will send Tomas Rodriguez to the mound against Fulton Friday looking to end a four-game slide. Rodriguez (1-2, 7.30), who struggled earlier in the season, has sparkled in relief since the calendar changed to July.

The game starts at 7 p.m. at Lohaus Field, where the Bobcats visit only one more time after Friday.

Marion's magic number to reach the playoffs over Farmington remains at 3. On Thursday, the Bobcats were eliminated from first-place contention, but lie only three games out of third place with three games left with the club that holds that spot, Owensboro. A second-place finish is also possible for Marion, but with only nine KIT League games left on the schedule, Fulton is 6.5 games ahead of the Bobcats for runner up in the league.

Also on Friday, Owensboro concludes it season series with Tradewater at Riverside Park.

McClay, Reynolds help beat Bobcats

Marion was mathematically eliminated from a chance at first place Thursday with the team's fourth straight KIT League loss since winning the front end of a Sunday double header with Owensboro to move a game above .500. The 10-7 loss to Fulton also keeps Marion three wins from clinching a playoff spot with nine league games left on the schedule, though each Farmington loss also pushes the Bobcats toward the postseason.

Two former Bobcats helped Fulton explode for a 7-run sixth inning. Both Mitch McClay and Josh Reynolds had an RBI and run scored in the inning, with McClay leading off with a single and adding another later in the same frame. The big hit in the inning, though, came off the bat of Kellen Begeman who smashed the first pitch he saw from Michael Backes down the right field line for a 3-run homer.

A tiring Backes would walk the next three batters to load the bases before being pulled in favor of Sean Fitzgerald. All three of the runners would touch home, with Fitzgerald allowing a run of his own after allowing the first four batters he saw to reach.

Until the top of the sixth, Marion held a 3-0 lead but left the inning trailing 7-3. Fulton would never trail again and with the win closed the gap to three games on first-place Tradewater, who lost to Owensboro in other league action.

At the plate, Marion out-hit Fulton 16 to 12, amassing 11 hits off Fulton starter Derek Roof. Roof, though, was able to keep most of those runners from scoring.

In the first, Ryan Chesler started with a double and was moved to third on a Jankowski single. Chesler would score on a pair of errors that came on a Jankowski stolen base with the throw from home getting past second base and the subsequent throw to the plate sailing over the catcher's head. Jankowski would then score on a Jae Leeworthy single by sliding around a tag at home.

In the second, Derek Trovillion slammed a solo home run. That would be all Marion would score off Roof until his final inning, the sixth. In that frame Tony Perez scored on a Jaron Shimmel sacrifice fly after leading off the frame with a single.

The Bobcats would score in each of their next two innings, pulling to within a run at 8-7. In the seventh, Jankowski manufactured his own run after a walk by stealing both second and third and scoring on a Trovillion single. In the eighth, Dylan Rasch and Jankowski scored when Leeworthy singled them both home.

Caleb Luttrell, who took the mound for Marion in the eighth, was not able to hold the Railroaders in the ninth, allowing two runs for the final score of 10-7.

Jankowski and Leeworthy each had three hits, with Leeworthy driving in three and Jankowski scoring three times. Jankowski's three stolen bases put him at 30 on the year to lead the league. Chesler, Drew Williams and Shimmel all doubled for the Bobcats.

For Fulton, McClay had three hits, batted in two and scored one run. Reynolds had a hit, scored a run and batted in one.
Click here for box and line scores.

Owensboro 7, Tradewater 5
Owensboro pulled to within 6.5 games of Tradewater with a 7-5 win Thursday at Riverside Park, and also ended the Pirates' seven-game winning streak. Third-place Owensboro will have only one more chance to pick up a game on Tradewater in head-to-head action when the Oilers end their season series with the Pirates Friday at Dawson Springs. Tradewater's loss also allowed Fulton to edge closer to first place after a win at Marion. The Railroaders now rest at three games off the pace and control their own destiny with four games left to play with Pirates.
Click here for box and line scores.

Marion faces Fulton at Guess Field

Farmington has the night off Thursday as two KIT League match-ups see the first- and second-place teams looking to stretch their lead over the rest of the league. Marion will host second-place Fulton looking to win their third straight over the Railroaders while Tradewater looks to push their winning streak to eight games with a victory over visiting Owensboro.

The Marion-Fulton game begins at 7:05 p.m. The Bobcats are 2-3 against the Railroaders this year with five games left to play between the clubs.

Farmington drops 9th straight; Pirates win 7th

The Bobcats' magic number is 3 to make the playoffs following Farmington's ninth consecutive loss Wednesday. Any combination of Marion wins or Farmington losses equaling three sends the Bobcats to the postseason and keeps the Browns at home when the playoffs begin July 27.

Fulton 12, Farmington 5
Fulton completed a series sweep of the reeling Browns, downing Farmington Wednesday 12-5. The teams combined for 27 hits in the game, with Fulton registering 15. Farmington left 15 runners on base and gave up a home run and 2 RBI to former Bobcat Josh Reynolds and a double and RBI to ex-Bobcat Mitch McClay.
Click here for box and line scores.

Tradewater 10, Owensboro 1
Tradewater moved a game closer to clinching its third consecutive league crown with a 10-1 win over Owensboro. Justin Juneau had three hits and 3 RBI to lead the Pirates over third-place Owensboro. Fulton remained only four games behind Tradewater, however, with a win over the hapless Browns.
Click here for box and line scores.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bobcats off Wednesday

Owensboro travels to Riverside Park to face the Pirates and Fulton once again hosts the Browns in KIT League action Wednesday. Marion has the night off after dropping three of four to the Oilers. They will return to action Thursday at Gordon Blue Guess Field to fact Railroaders. The game starts at 7:05 p.m.

Marion drops 3rd straight to Oilers

Owensboro defeated Marion 5-2 Tuesday to take the four-game series 3-1. The win puts the Oilers 2.5 games ahead of Marion for third place, but the Bobcats' magic number to make the playoffs dropped to 4 with Farmington's two losses on the night at Fulton.

Marion, 2-5 against Owensboro this year, drops to two games below .500 with a 17-19 overall record and four games from breaking even in KIT League action at 13-17.

For the second consecutive night, Owensboro held Marion to two hits, but the Bobcats pushed two runs across avoiding the shutout as the night before. Andrew Zimmerman kept the Bobcat offense off balance, striking out 13 in eight innings of work for the win.

Mike Perez accounted for all of Marion's scoring, pushing runs across on a double and a single to score Ryan Chelser and Travis Jankowski, respectively. Jankowski also doubled and Adam Boyd contributed two singles. Jankowski and Jaron Shimmel each stole a base.

Kalip Merrill took the loss in the start for Marion, but allowed only three hits across five innings. Five runs, one unearned, scored off Merrill, however. Justin O'Brien pitched two innings, striking out two. Chris Goins pitched a perfect eighth.
Click here for box and line scores.

Fulton 4, Farmington 3
Fulton 6, Farmington 3
Former Bobcat Mitch McClay had 3 RBI on two home runs in the first game of double header Tuesday with Farmington. Another ex-Bobcat, Josh Reynolds, earned the 4-3 win with two innings pitched. Farmington also dropped the second game 6-3, falling to 9-14 overall and 7-24 in intraleague play. The Browns are now 15.5 games behind Tradewater, in last place and just four losses or as many Marion wins from being eliminated from the playoffs.
Click here for Game 1 box and line scores.
Click here for Game 2 box and line scores.